From a young age, Cinthia realized her story was similar to that of many Latinas in Los Angeles. She attended overcrowded public schools, witnessed the toll that discriminatory policing had on families, and recognized how lack of access to adequate health care contributed to community health issues.
Furthermore, growing up in a single-parent, first-generation household impacted her prospects of success. However, Cinthia was determined to succeed. Cinthia's mother migrated from El Salvador in the mid-1980s in search of refuge from the civil war. For a majority of her life, Cinthia's mother worked in the Los Angeles garment industry. On average she was paid 35 cents per garment and did not have access to employment benefits. Witnessing these types of injustices motivated Cinthia to pursue a legal education to advocate for the rights of immigrant and low-wage workers.
Before attending law school, Cinthia majored in Political Science and minored in Labor and Workplace Studies & Chicana/o Studies at UCLA. While at UCLA, she served as the first Latina Student Body President in UCLA history. While Cinthia knew she wanted to attend law school, she did not know any lawyers. With the help and guidance from the UCLA Law Fellows Program, Cinthia was able to gain the knowledge and resources to navigate the law school application process.
"The program provided me with a 'crash-course' immersion into the legal profession and boosted my confidence about the application process," she said. "It was through Law Fellows that I became aware of the LSAC application process and LSAT preparation courses. The program also served as a great support system. I developed a strong relationship with the staff, which was thoroughly helpful in my application, scholarship search, and decision-making process. I am confident the UCLA Law Fellows program prepared me to maximize my experience in law school."
Cinthia went on to attend the University of California, Irvine School of Law. During law school, Cinthia served as a student representative on the University of California Board of Regents, where she secured funding for undocumented student service centers and diversity enhancement programs. She currently works at the UCLA Labor Center where her work concentrates of advocacy for immigrant communities and organized labor.